tv [untitled] June 2, 2012 12:00am-12:30am PDT
>> good afternoon. this is a special joint hearing between the san francisco planning commission and san francisco recreation and park commission for thursday, may 24, 2012. before we call role, let me just remind everyone to turn off or silence cell phones or any other electronic device that may sound off during the proceedings. as you can see, this is a very crowded room. i feel the need to engage in secondary discussion, we ask that you take those discussions outside as they become extremely disruptive to the process. [roll call] roll-call for the recreation and park commission. [roll call]
ok, thank you. commissioners, the item before you today is the beach shall lay, and that has a number of actions that are being proposed for you to consider. item one is the beach chalet environmental impact report that will be considered by the planning commission only. in two is adoption of findings under california environmental quality act for planning commission only. item three is general plan conformity findings for planning commission only. item four is a request for coastal zone permit, planning commission only. item five is approving the beach shall lead athletic fields renovation conceptual plan and making finance, including findings of consistency with the
golden gate park master plan and findings under the california environmental quality act for recreation and park commission action only. commissioners, the order of business today is for there to be all of the staff reports from both departments and project sponsors, followed by a single public comment category, and i will call back half that time, which would then -- once that is complete, the chair will close the public hearing, and the matter will be before both commissions for your considered action. with that, commissioners, staff. >> good afternoon -- >> excuse me, if i could just interrupt. i just heard the share of yelling in the hall that overflow is in room 408 -- i
just heard the share of -- the sherriff yelled in the hall. >> good afternoon. during me tonight, the senior environmental planner, and environmental consultant with esa. the item before you today is a certification of the final environmental impact report for the proposed buell -- proposed beach chalet athletic field renovation project. the draft eir was published a october 26, 2011. public hearings on december 1, 2011. public common closed on december 12, 2011. the comments and responses document was published and
distributed on may 7, 2012. contained within your supplemental that information back are copies of e-mails and letters received this month by the environmental review officer. mount sinai environmental children's health center listed their concerns about the impacts of artificial turf fields. another was written on behalf of sf osha, said, the sierra club, the audubon society, the sunset park action committee, and the richmond community association. the letter states a preference of a hybrid alternative. in addition, letters are received from mary ann miller and robert clayton, stating that their concerns were not adequately addressed in cnr. because these letters were received after we published the comments and responses document, we were not able to include them, but the concerns raised are similar to commons already addressed, and no new issues
were raised, and all issues we believe are adequately addressed. the eir down the project would result in a significant and unavoidable impact as it would impair many of the character- defining features of the beach chalet field facility. these alterations include installation of lights, synthetic turf, spectator seating, and new pathways. therefore, the commission would need to adopt a statement of overriding considerations pursuant to the california environmental quality act, should the commission choose to approve the project. the eir provided four alternatives -- the new project attended, the offset product alternative at sunset, the grass turf with ridges let's, and the grass synthetic turf with no light alternative. all of these would reduce the project was a significant unavoidable impact to historic resources. we request that the commission adopt the motion before you as soon as the contents are
verified as accurate, and the procedures through which the final eir was prepared comply with the provisions of ceqa. this concludes my presentation unless commissioners have any questions. if commissioners do not have questions, i will hand over the microphone to neil from the planning department. commissioner fong: thank you. i do not see any calls. there might be questions for you later. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i am a planner with the city wide planning division of the planning department. it is a pleasure to be before you this morning -- afternoon. at issue before you today is the renovation of the soccer field at the beach chalet in the golden gate park. the staff report provided for you provides more detailed analysis, so my summary today will be brief. the planning department received
many hundreds -- perhaps over 1000 -- e-mails in response to this project. the majority of e-mails were opposed -- opposed to the renovation of the beach chalet and focused most of the criticism on the synthetic turf and nighttime lighting. the overwhelming majority commented on the design of the soccer field and did not specifically address the general plan policies that are the purview of the report i'm about to summarize for you, so i'm really responsible for making sure that the projects moving forward is not uncommon on the project specifically and is in conformity with prior to steer the majority of the policies and general plan come from the recreation and open space element. the recreation and park department have a broad mandate to provide a diverse and balanced open space system, including recreational opportunities. for example, a policy for what
one states we should make better use of our existing facilities. policy for 43 says we should debate and into the city was a park and recreation facilities. the implications of these policies could summarize the saying the changing demographics and recreational needs of san franciscans must be accommodated by the city's recreational facilities. this requires periodic improvements, even in ways not foreseen by the facility's original designers, to meet these needs. the golden gate park facilities should remain within their existing footprints to minimize the impact on the landscape. within the golden gate subsection, policy 2.2 states we should preserve existing public open space, and policy 2.4 states we should gradually eliminate non-recreational uses in parks and reduce automobile traffic in and around open spaces.
implications include the expansion of a parking lot that is in balance, not consistent with the general plan, although the impact of expansion is very small. the increase demand for facilities should be met whenever possible by sustainable modes of transport, consistent with the city's larger goals whenever possible. the golden gate park facility should be made accessible to all users. one of the key elements of this proposed project is to make open spaces accessible to people of all means and abilities and to increase accessibility, which is consistent to the general plan. finally, the golden gate park master plan, while not in the general plan, there is an outline suggesting what should be in the plan, and that outline does provide conflicting policy direction for facilities such as the soccer fields. again, within the golden gate
park subsection, the outline suggests that we should have recreational facilities, the recreational facilities are considered essential resources in golden gate park, and it emphasizes the role of recreational facilities. at the same time, it emphasizes that the naturalistic landscapes should be protected and renewed within the bounds of its character. it also states that vehicle traffic should be minimized. finally, the primary function of the part is to serve the recreational needs of all san franciscans. the implications include that the proposed improvements really trouble the recreational capacity of the field within its existing footprint. the synthetic turf lighting do represent a change in the nationalistic character of the field. the ceqa findings, the environmental review highlights that conflict here finally, within the western shore line, the western shore line offers
conflicting policy direction as well for facilities such as the soccer fields. it states that we should improve the western end of the park for public recreation. it is currently considered to be underutilized and is deserving of improvement. it similarly emphasizes the naturalistic landscapes qualities at the same time encouraging increase visitor use of the western end of the park. locations include the proposed revisions would " improve the public recreation and increase visitor use. however, it would do so at some level of impact of the naturalistic landscapes qualities of the park. the department finds on balance the proposed renovation of the beach chalet soccer fields to be in conformity with the general plan. some of the highlights include, in addition to the ones i have already mentioned, that the evolving recreational needs of san franciscans require facilities to perform more efficiently than they currently do. we found that the 1000-plus acres of the naturalistic landscapes in golden gate park
are not diminished by the proposed renovation. finally, that the large increase of the number of people using the facilities will result in a greater sense of safety amongst pedestrians moving through the western end of the park at night. that concludes my summary. i would be happy to take any questions. >> commissioners, just so you know, we will have different sections of it. there's time for questions now, but at the very end, we will have time for questions and full deliberation, but if you have any specific questions right now. >> i just wanted to get clarification. the e-mails that you received -- could you just repeat what the outcome was of the e-mails? >> i understand, at least on the planning commission side, that a number of females were received. the department has received, we estimate, over 1000 e-mails. they have been coming in very
rapidly the past couple of days, so it is hard to say exactly how many we have, but we estimate over 1000 e-mails. from what we can do in terms of sorting them, the majority have the same language but have different centers, but the majority are in opposition to the project, so they will go into a case report for the environmental review document. >> so they are opposed to the synthetic field? >> they oppose the renovations unchanged from natural -- and the change from natural to synthetic turf. commissioner moore: i would like to note that these e-mails are still coming in as we are talking. [laughter] >> great, thank you very much. >> good afternoon, commissioners.
planning staff of the current planning division. a coastal zone permit% to planning code section 330 is required for the beach chalet athletic fields project. as the project is within the local coastal zone. while the project is located within the local coastal zone, the project is not located within the appeal is based able area that is that he'llable to the california commission. for the draft motion -- that is appealable to the company commissioned. i would be happy to go into the goals and objectives upon the commission's request. furthermore, on balance, the project is bound to be consistent with the eight priority planning policies of planning code section 101.1, and at this time, the planning depart